“The Bachelor” 2011 week 3 aired January 17 and detailed the next chapter in second-timer Brad Womack’s made-for-TV style quest for love. The week’s episode featured two one-on-ones with southern sweethearts, an action-packed group date, more nuttiness from the season’s biggest drama queen thus far, Michelle, and one bachelorette’s untimely departure from the competition. Here’s a complete recap, from the first kiss to the night’s final rose.
“The Bachelor” 2011 week 3 opened with series host Chris Harrison corralling the 17 remaining bachelorettes (I started to call them ladies but given some of the company there, ahem, I changed my mind) inside the mansion on a beautiful southern California morning. He referenced the previous night (also known as last week)’s emotional cocktail party and subsequent elimination and warned the bunch that things would be just as challening from that moment forward.
Chris then pulled out the week’s first date card. The lucky recipient of week 3’s inaugural one-on-one with Brad was southern sweetie Ashley S.. The theme of the get-together? “Let’s find our love song.” Delightfully vague. Karaoke? A stroll through an old vinyl shop? What could it mean? Oh, the suspense! Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long for the big reveal: Brad arrived at the mansion in his snazzy car, picked up his date and the two drove off. (And to update from Crazy and Envious Land, Bachelorette Michelle was, in keeping with her week 2 performance, critical of not only Ashley, but the rest of the women in the house, declaring “I’m not going to lie: I hate them”. Jealous much? Just a tad.)
As they cruised with the top down, Brad explained via voiceover his motivations for selecting Ashley S. as his date for the day: “The very first time I laid eyes on [her] my nerves went away.” He appreciated how relaxed he felt around her. The duo arrived at Capitol Records and Brad revealed that they’d be recording a song together. Ashley immediately began to stress, saying that although she has a cute accent, her singing voice is bad. She relaxed when he told her that they’d be singing Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”, which she said reminded her of her dad, who passed away two years earlier.
The Bachelor 2011 and his cute date donned their headphones and took their places in the recording booth. And they were awful. But still adorable. Brad was pleased, saying he’d picked “the perfect girl” for the date. In order to make up for the torture of the recording session, Brad led Ashley to a room down the hall, where Seal himself performed the song they’d butchered just minutes before. Ashley confessed that she was “starting to fall for Brad” and called the day “perfect”. She said it was as if her dad “had kinda orchestrated it from above”. Later that evening, the date continued on the roof of the building with a nice dinner. Brad said that although he’d had an “amazing time” with her, he took the process seriously and wanted to know more about her before he’d give her the rose.
During their time together, a tearful Ashley S. told Brad about her dad’s death from a brain aneurysm and shared the special meaning behind “Kiss from a Rose”. She was pleased with her ability to be open with Brad and said that no matter what the result of the evening, she was happy with how things had gone. Aw, she’s a sweet girl.
Back at the mansion on “The Bachelor” 2011 week 3, the second date card arrived and the ladies clamored for a look at its contents. Michelle declared that if she didn’t get a one-on-one date with Brad, it would “piss her off”. (Seriously, can she really be such a snot? Is it a joke? Are the producers demonizing her or is it all for real? She’s scary in an ‘I’m a stalker and it’s okay if everyone knows it’ kind of way.) The “love hurts” group daters included Lindsay, Shawntel, Alli, Britt, Kimberly, Sarah, Chantal, Ashley H., Lisa, Stacey, Marissa and (wait for it…) Michelle. (Yeah, she was pissed. There were tears.)
On the rooftop, Brad offered Ashley S. the rose (yay!) and she happily accepted. (I would’ve clobbered him if he hadn’t.) They finished their date with an embrace, a slow dance and a kiss. Brad called her “the whole package” and said she’d exceeded his expectations.
Bright and early the next day, the group daters herded out to a van, destination unknown. Shawntel vowed to do whatever she needed to do to get to know Brad, while Michelle moaned about being on a group date. (Again. Yeah, it got old.) When they got out of the van, the 12 gals watched in confusion as Brad was ambushed by a bunch of dudes. Once they all realized it was pretend, they were excited to find out that they’d be making an action adventure film focused on rescuing Brad. Michelle wished that some of the ninjas in the film would “kidnap some of these other girls”. (Really? Again, is she for real? Did she miss the memo that it’s a competitive dating show?) She talked more smack but she’s not worth the keyboard strokes so we’ll move on.
Back at the mansion, the third date card arrived and Emily learned that she’d be enjoying a “love is intoxicating”-themed one-on-one date. She stressed over the thought of telling Brad about her daughter and her deceased fiance.
During the shoot, Brad was particularly impressed with Shawntel’s performance. (Michelle complained. Again. Is she still in junior high? I’m so sick of her and it’s only week 3.) Shawntel relished her time front and center on Brad’s radar screen, and seemed to enjoy the very public smoochies the pair shared in front of the others. Later in the evening, Brad took them to a wrap party. There was a pool and this is reality TV, so of course the all jumped in. Typical!
Chantal was the first gal to steal some alone time with the Bachelor. Uh-oh, tear-alert! She sniffled a lot, but the waterworks really got going as she told him about the biggest mistake of her life: Not contacting her dad before he passed away. (More daddy-related issues, hmm.) Brad said that he liked “tough girl” Chantal’s “soft side”. She worried that she was already falling for him. And they kissed.
At the mansion, the other five girls talked about Emily’s upcoming date with Brad. Emily shared the story of her fiance’s tragic death and her pregnancy and there wasn’t a dry eye to be found. I confess: I teared up.
In group-date land on “The Bachelor” 2011 week 3, Brad continued his alone-time with the ladies. He chatted it up with Alli until Michelle showed up stalker-style and crept into the room to interrupt and eavesdrop. The Bachelor was visibly rattled and excused himself to talk with Psycho… uh, Michelle. Alli deemed her adversary an “evil” female dog. Chantal agreed. Michelle complained to Brad that she hadn’t gotten alone time with him. He noted the ‘B’ on her bracelet, and Michelle declared (with a failed attempt at churning out big crocodile tears; I wonder how long it took her to squeeze feigned emotion from her stony heart) that she wondered if she was a bad mother for not being with her daughter. Then they kissed. Gross. Then she declared that the other gals needed to pack their bags because “he is mine”. Scary.
Brad retrieved the rose, and the editors gave viewers a scare when he approached his choice from behind and it looked like Michelle! But fortunately it wasn’t: The rose went to Shawntel. Phew, what a relief. (And what a mean trick!) Back in the pool, he showed the group the premiere of their video. (Michelle complained again, calling the others “immature” and saying that at series’ end, she and Brad would be “in Tahiti practicing making babies”. Yeah. Well, at least they’re not nuts.)
And then poof! It was sunny again and Brad drove up to the mansion to retrieve Emily for their one-on-one. Meghan summed up the general consensus when it comes to the pretty blonde: “A little itsy bitsy Barbie doll with the soul of Mother Teresa” who no one dislikes. In a very unfortunate twist, Brad led her to an airport filled with small planes and the two took off for a flight. The pair arrived in wine country for a romantic date. Brad hoped to find out “who she really is”. She declared, as they sipped wine in a vineyard, that it was her “perfect date”. Via voiceover, she again stressed over telling him about her past and her little girl, but said she’d be “heartbroken” if she failed to get a rose.
Back at the mansion, Ashley S. and Madison mulled over whether or not Emily would be able to tell him about her past. Madison took Emily’s story to heart once again and teared up as she declared that Emily needed to tell Brad the truth.
On the second “The Bachelor” 2011 week 3 one-on-one date, Emily hedged as Brad tried to dig into her past. He was frustrated by her repeated “deflections”, and finally asked her pointedly “why your relationship didn’t work out”. She went silent. It was an extremely awkward scene that was equally painful to watch. Brad stressed, saying that she’d always “been a front runner” but that she needed to open up to him for things to pan out. Come on, Emily!
Later that evening, Brad led Emily to a private dinner set-up inside a barn. Totally cute and charming. They sat down to eat and Emily again stressed over telling him about her past. And… she finally spoke! She confessed that she’d been in love just one time, and went on to tell the story. Brad listened eagerly and was visibly stunned when she told him about Ricky’s death. And even more stunned when she told him about her daughter. (Points for asking if she had a boy or a girl, but negative points for not asking her name!) Brad declared “every single thing you’ve told me makes me like you more”. And there was a huge sigh of relief all-around. The tension was broken, voila. A little later, he emerged holding a bloom and she accepted it immediately, declaring “gimme that daggone rose”. Emily priased him for making her feel “special” and “like the only one”. And then, smoochies! Brad said that “I can see Emily being the woman that I want to spend my life with”. Aaawwww.
Back at Brad’s pad, he ruminated over the gravity of his situation and over his need to “put myself out there”. He met with his therapist, who encouraged him to “create spaces” for the bachelorettes to speak and be themselves. (I’d say it was all a set-up, but Brad looked so intensely serious that I don’t think it was a joke. At all.)
As Brad made his way to the cocktail party, Ashley H. anxiously awaited Brad’s decision. Michelle said she felt “pretty confident” about her chances of getting a rose, and Chantal broke the resulting tension in the room by playfully asking “does anyone else feel really confident tonight?” Michelle looked less than amused. Enter Brad, who briefly addressed the masses and got the party started.
He met with Alli first, who decided to tell Brad about her father’s infidelity and stressed the importance of stability. (Daddy issue #3 of “The Bachelor” 2011 week 3.) As he prepped to talk with Chantal, Michelle tried to grab him, but for once, he just hugged her and left. Brad apologized to Chantal for not responding in the way that she would’ve liked — with a rose, though he didn’t say it — at the pool, and she accepted. In the middle of their conversation, Michelle showed up. Again. And asked to borrow him. Brad seemed bothered, but went with Michelle anyway. Chantal was annoyed. Heck, I was annoyed. Michelle told Brad that they were “in a fight” because he’d kissed both Chantal and Shawntel the same day he’d kissed her. (Again, does she not understand the point of the show? It’s “The Bachelor”. Egads. Please Brad, tell me that you know she’s nuts. Methinks he doesn’t, though; he thinks she’s funny and said “I love it”. Ugh.)
Madison, still deeply affected by Emily’s story, longed to speak with Brad about her changing feelings. Will she? At least one commercial break stood in the way. He spoke with several more of the ladies, and Jackie noted that he seemed much more laid back. He declared that he was having fun. And then… Madison. She shared with Brad that she’d come into the experience with walls up. She removed her fangs, and shared that “everything became very, very real” when she heard Emily’s story. She said that there are girls there who really need to fall in love and she didn’t want to take anything away from those girls. She confessed that she was considering leaving, and called it “more difficult” than she’d thought it would be. Brad told her not to accept a rose if she doesn’t want it. I have to say that I now think a lot more of vamp Madison than I did at first. Misguided thoughts, but kind at their root.
Ashley H. was up next for a pow wow, and she bluntly told Brad that if he wasn’t totally sure about her, he should let her go home. He insisted that they needed to “give it an honest shot”. He was frustrated by her insecurities but left, only to return moments later to plant a big ol’ kiss on her lips.
With the partying over, Brad addressed the gals and then took off with Chris to make his picks for “The Bachelor” 2011 week 3 elimination. And then… the Rose Ceremony: 14 girls, only 11 flowers. Brad repeated his earlier words to Madison, telling them not to accept roses they don’t want. First to receive a rose was Michelle (idiot alert!), followed by Chantal (ha ha, Michelle must’ve been annoyed). And then in a surprising move, Madison, excused herself. Brad followed her and asked for her motivations. Madison confessed that she “wouldn’t feel right” taking a rose from another girl. He said that he was disappointed to see her remove herself from the competition and “I think I’m missing out on hell of a girl”. And she really is a great girl: What a change from the chick we saw week one. Brad was badly unsettled by what had happened, but rejoined the group for the rest of the ceremony.
The rest of the call-out order? Lisa, Jackie, Ashley H., Marissa, Britt, Alli, Lindsay and Meghan. And then, the final rose went to Stacey, who breathed a huge sigh of relief. Left out in the cold were two ladies, thanks to Madison’s departure: Kimberly, who declared her elimination “his loss” and Sarah P., who tearfully bemoaned not being chosen.
So that’s it for “The Bachelor” 2011 week 3 and Brad Womack’s latest adventures in reality TV land. Tune in next week as the tensions between adversaries Michelle and Chantal rise to new heights. How does Michelle get a black eye? You’ll have to watch to find out.